Klipsch R-15M vs R-14M: Are they Different or Same?

Since 1946, Klipsch has been a common icon in a standard home entertainment center. The Reference series, in particular, features some of the smartest and most stylish bookshelf speakers that are audiophile-approved. They also come in a highly efficient design, which means you’ll get a satisfying performance from a modest amount of power.

The Klipsch R-15M and R-14M are surprisingly powerful bookshelf speakers with high-frequency clarity that rivals most premium models. The R-15M standout features include its rich high-frequency response, low-profile design, and incredibly satisfying bass performance.

On the other hand, the Klipsch R-14M is ideal for casual listening, but it is just as perfect as R-15M, especially for what it costs. However, because of the small driver size, the speakers might struggle to push much low end, and they may not cover the entire frequency spectrum.

You can, however, add more bass to your speakers by adding a matching subwoofer or incorporating them with other Reference speakers for a detailed performance.

Klipsch R-14M vs R-15M Overview

Product TitleKlipsch R-15MKlipsch R-14M
Power rating85 watts RMS
340 watts Peak
50 watts RMS
200 watts Peak
Frequency response62 – 24 kHz ± 3 dB64-24 kHz ±3dB
Drivers5.25″ IMG woofer
1″ LTS tweeter
4″ IMG woofer
1″ LTS tweeter
Nominal impedance8 ohms compatible8 ohms compatible
Sensitivity94 dB90 dB
Woofer surroundRubberRubber

After testing the speakers on every conceivable music genre, it is clear that they are up to just about any task. But, which of these top compact models is best for you?

Klipsch R-15M Review

We have to admit that Klipsch has done a commendable job with these attractive bookshelf speakers. They sound great for their size, and they create a wide soundstage while giving you more placement flexibility. You can use them as part of your stereo sound system or as left and right surround speakers in a Klipsch home theater system.

Product highlights

High-performance IMG woofers

The R-15M sports two 5.25″ IMG woofers which generate the bass as well as a smooth and well-defined midrange. The cone features a specially treated aluminum that is not only strong but also lightweight. This construction helps to minimize cone breakup and dampen the vibrations/ distortion. The woofers are designed to stretch their capability and sound even better than speakers that are way above this price range.

LTS 1″ horn tweeter

Each speaker is equipped with Klipsch’s signature high-efficiency 1-inch LTS tweeter for improved resolution and detail. The tweeter is mated to a 90 x 90° Hybrid Tractrix horn for an extended high-end response. Compared to other tweeter’s designs, the horn technology provides a wider sweet spot and a more natural soundstage.

Rear-firing port

The R-15M features a rear-firing port that is specially designed to eliminate turbulence at low-end frequencies. A reduction in air turbulence results in cleaner bass performance with reduced port noise. What’s more, the port is perfectly matched to the drivers to ensure more efficient and smoother airflow in and out of the speaker cabinet.

Sturdy MDF cabinet

The speaker’s cabinet is made from high-grade MDF with a brushed polymer veneer finish. This cabinet is not only attractive, but it also allows sound to resonate throughout the room. The cabinet is sturdily built, which means it will keep vibrations and other nuisances at bay. To add to the appeal, a magnetically shielded grille is incorporated into the design for a clean and sleek look.

What we like

  • Superbly balanced sound
  • Solid build quality
  • Provides 5-way binding posts for maximum connection flexibility
  • High efficient driver design
  • Accurate and loud for their size
  • No noticeable distortion

What we don’t like

  • They are not ideal for larger rooms
  • The need for an external amplifier to push them

Klipsch R-14M Review

The R-14M is one of Klipsch’s most affordable bookshelf speakers, which lets you enjoy a hi-fi performance in tight spaces. The speakers come in a compact and elegant design that combines sturdy construction and powerful performance. Overall, they are a solid choice, and they are arguably amongst the most capable budget bookshelf speakers we’ve tested.

Product highlights

Powerful performance

The speakers feature a 4″ spun copper IMG woofer that provides an amazingly powerful bass response in such a compact package. Furthermore, the spun copper construction allows for a powerful and rigid bass response in the lower frequencies. The R-14M works best when paired with a subwoofer, and they cover a fair amount of the spectrum range.

Each speaker provides up to 50 watts RMS (200 watts Peak), which is fair enough considering their size. However, if you want more bass, the R-14M may not be the one for you. The 4″ driver may also struggle to reproduce bass sounds when placed in a larger room.

High-efficiency tweeter design

The speakers sport a 1-inch LTS tweeter that delivers a sensitivity of up to 90 dB and 8 ohms resistance. The primary advantage of horn technology is that it makes the tweeter more efficient, resulting in cleaner and more accurate upper-range sounds. Moreover, the LTS tweeter is made of lightweight aluminum to enable it to move quickly and more easily.

Sturdy speaker cabinet

We can attest that these speakers are perfectly sleek, and that applies to the build quality too. The cabinets are made of 100% MDF which feels and looks phenomenal in basically any living room setup. Additionally, Klipsch rounded out the design of the speakers with a rear-firing port and a removable, high-quality mess grille.

Compact design

The speakers stand just under 10 inches tall, 6 inches wide, and have a depth of about 7.5 inches. The primary advantage of the compact design is to make it easy to place your speakers on a standard bookshelf or table. It also allows you to use the speakers in tight spaces, such as when you need to place them on conventional speaker stands.

What we like

  • Enhanced clarity and detail
  • Precise sound imaging
  • Small footprint, yet they fill the room with great sound
  • Works perfectly well both as front or rear speakers
  • Super clean highs

What we don’t like

  • Limited power, but it is sufficient for most home applications
  • The bass is somewhat lacking, but you can always supplement the bass level by throwing in a good subwoofer

Klipsch R-15M vs R-14M—Final Verdict

For what they cost, we can’t help but admire the work that Klipsch has put into these bookshelf speakers. Both speaker sets are beautifully designed and they are a representation of what the company does best; i.e., excellent detail and expansive soundstage. Perhaps the only downside is that they are passive speakers, and they aren’t as powerful as other bookshelf speakers we have tested.

If you’re looking for something a bit powerful and with a better response at all volume levels, it would be a good idea to go with the slightly expensive R-15M model. The Klipsch R-14 is equally good, and we’d recommend it over the R-15M if want something a bit compact for a surprisingly affordable price. Overall, the speakers shine in providing a life-like sound while maintaining a lower price tag.

Avatar for Jamie K. Martin

Jamie K. Martin holds a degree in Audio engineering from Husson University, Bangor. Martin spends most of his time testing and trying the technology he writes about to ensure that he provides first-hand information to our customers from all walks of life.

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